Anatomy of Larb | Link TV
Anatomy of Larb
Larb is a Southeast Asian minced meat salad with many spellings (larb, laab, larp, laap, lahb, lob, lop, and the list goes on) and a few variants (Isan or Lanna, from Laos or Thailand). But when most people speak about larb, they refer to it fondly as a dish that takes them back to the streets of Thailand, or at least their favorite Thai restaurant. Although the dish is straightforward, it is far from simplistic. As chef Louis Tikaram of E.P. & L.P. explains, there could be close to 30 ingredients in one plate.
Click the hotspots below to learn more about the ingredients tossed into larb.
More About Larb
Thai cuisine is "insanely diverse." Thailand breaks up into four different regions: central, southern, northern, and northeastern (Isan), each with different languages, food traditions and ingredients emerging from different environments. Bangkok is located in the central region, where the cuisine is characterized by curries and Chinese influence. This is the type of food most familiar to westerners (though this is changing, especially in Los Angeles). Southern dishes are the spiciest and typically include coconut milk and seafood. Northern cuisine is characterized by herby, brothy, boiled (or fried) pork. Northeastern dishes tend to be heavier on lime, such as the green papaya salad som tum. The origin of laap, a dish in the same family as larb but including raw meat and blood, is debatable, as people from both northern and northeastern Thailand claim the dish.
Larb is said to have originated in Laos but today, the dish is regional to Laos and Isaan (or Isan), the northeastern region of Thailand bordering Laos and Cambodia. The largest region of Thailand is where most of the nation's rice is grown and has a rich Khmer era history going back at least 5,000 years. Although it's the area least frequented by tourists, Isaan is known for it's specific regional cuisine and, unfortunately, for its underdevelopment and civil unrest.
Digital Street Food
In an effort to attract more tourists to northeastern Thailand, the Thai government created a mobile app to help visitors find street food stalls and restaurants by name, type of food desired or location.
More Migrant Kitchen Stories
Handing over state forests to Indigenous and local communities is a complex process — and coronavirus has slowed down field work.
Barbados, Estonia, Georgia and Bermuda launch visa regimes for remote workers, flaunting beaches and good Covid-19 response.
As advertising disappears amid the coronavirus pandemic, radio stations helping farmers adapt to climate shifts could disappear.
No record shows whether the 900 women and girls reported missing during lockdown have been found, dead or alive, or are victims of crimes.
- 1 of 97
- next ›
The Jewish Delis of Los Angeles serve an important role for connecting heritage to food. Discover the delis that make up the fabric of Los Angeles life.
Rooted in the traditions of Japanese sake brewing, Sequoia Sake works to resurrect an heirloom rice in California and pioneer the young but growing craft sake movement in the U.S.
Inspired by the traditions of generations of Mexican women and combining regional heirloom ingredients from across Mexico, Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins takes a huge risk to elevate the cuisine in her hometown.
With the rapid gentrification of the neighborhood, the face of the country’s oldest Chinatown is changing while a younger generation holds on to the traditions and flavors of the past.
Two extraordinary women of Palestinian descent, Reem Assil and Lamees Dahbour, use food to bring their misunderstood homeland closer to Western tolerance and acceptance.
- 1 of 4
- next ›